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George G. Adams

College of Engineering Distinguished Professor, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
334 Snell Engineering Center
360 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115


Dr. George G. Adams is College of Engineering Distinguished Professor in the Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Department (Affiliated Appointments in Electrical and Computer Engineering and with Civil and Environmental Engineering) at Northeastern University where he has served on the faculty since 1979. His areas of expertise are in contact mechanics and tribology; MicroElectroMechanical Systems (MEMS), especially RF MEMS switches and micromirrors; nano-mechanics (including materials characterization, adhesion, and mechanical and electrical contacts); and the dynamic response of structures to moving loads (including friction-induced vibrations and other instabilities). He has published over 80 refereed journal papers and has had numerous research grants and contracts with government and industry.

George received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Cooper Union in 1969, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (Applied Mechanics) from the University of California at Berkeley in 1972 and 1975 respectively. Dr. Adams then became an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Clarkson University in Potsdam, New York, and a Research Associate at the IBM Research Laboratory in San Jose, California, prior to joining Northeastern University in 1979. He is an Associate Editor of Microsystems Technologies - Micro- and Nanosystems and Information Storage and Processing Systems and of the International Journal of Surface Science and Engineering. George co-founded and served as the first chair of the Contact Mechanics Technical Committee of the Tribology Division of ASME, and is a Fellow of the ASME and the STLE.


  • PhD (1975) and MS (1972) in Mechanical Engineering, University of California at Berkeley
  • BS (1969) in Mechanical Engineering, Cooper Union

Research & Scholarship Interests

Contact mechanics including adhesion, friction, and plasticity; modeling and analysis of MEMS; modeling and analysis in nanomechanics
Affiliated With

Department Research Areas

College Research Initiatives

Honors & Awards

  • Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers
  • Fellow of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers
  • 2013 Captain Alfred E. Hunt Memorial Medal for the best paper of 2012 published by STLE
  • ASME Tribology Division 2009 K.L. Johnson Award for the Best Paper in Contact Mechanics
  • 2002 Søren Buus Outstanding Research Award

Teaching Interests

  • Mechanics of Solids - including Elasticity & Plasticity and Mechanics of Materials
  • Dynamics & Mechanical Vibration

Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Mechanical Engineers
    • Chair of Tribology Division Executive Committee of ASME
  • American Society of Engineering Education
  • Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers
  • Tau Beta Pi and Pi Tau Sigma

Selected Publications

  • G.G. Adams, A Semi-Infinite Strip Pressed Against an Elastic Half-Plane With Frictional Slip, Journal of Applied Mechanics, 85(2), 2018
  • N.K. Mohammadi and G.G. Adams, Self-Excited Oscillations of a Finite-Thickness Elastic Layer Sliding Against a Rigid Surface With a Constant Coefficient of Friction, Journal of Applied Mechanics, 85(2), 2018
  • D. Hu and G.G. Adams, A Boundary Condition Correction for the Clamped Constraint of Elastic Plate/Beam Theory, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 124, 2017, 229-234
  • A. Basu, G.G. Adams, N.E. McGruer, A Review of Micro-Contact Physics, Materials, and Failure Mechanisms in Direct-Contact RF MEMS Switches, Journal of Micromechanics and Microengineering, 26, 2016
  • F. Oweiss, G.G. Adams, Adhesion of an Axisymmetric Elastic Body: Ranges of Validity of Monomial Approximations and a Transition Model, Tribology International, 100, 2016, 287-292
  • G. Stan, G.G. Adams, Adhesive Contact Between a Rigid Spherical Indenter and an Elastic Multi-Layer Coated Substrate, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 87, 2016, 1-10
  • D. Hu, G.G. Adams, Adhesion of a Micro-/Nano- Beam/Plate to a Sinusoidal/Grooved Surface, International Journal of Solids and Structures, 99, 2016, 40-47
  • G.G. Adams, Frictional Slip of a Rigid Punch on an Elastic Half-Plane, Proceedings of the Royal Society A: Mathematical, Physical and Engineering Sciences, A 472, 2016
See Google Scholar Profile for all publications »

Related News

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Do a Google search for the “latest earth­quakes 2015” and you come up with more than 300,000 hits, sites listing quakes from Chile and Turkey to Alaska.

August 26, 2015

A new patent, "System and method for integrating a single nanowire into a nanocircuit," was issued this week to CHN researchers Sivasubramanian Somu, Ahmed Busnaina, Nicol McGruer, and George Adams.

January 31, 2014

Sivasubramanian Somu (MIE), Ahmed Busnaina (MIE), Nicol McGruer (ECE), & George Adams (MIE) were awarded a patent for their method of integrating a single nanowire into a nanocircuit. The nano-...